Paralympic to begin despite rising coronavirus cases in Japan
A wrapped-up Olympic event means the beginning of the Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan. Falling in line with the schedule, Paralympics have started but the fear of coronavirus does not seem to end in Japan.
On Thursday, Japan started the event with the flame lighting ceremony post which athletes were waiting for the decision that will let spectators be a part of the competition or not. This is a crucial stage as the country is witnessing a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics concluded on Sunday and it was the first time that the mega event was held sans the spectators. Almost all the venues were empty and players were only accompanied by their coaches and physios. Athletes were also informed about limiting their restrictions while in the Olympic village.
As for Paralympics, there were speculations that due to the successful completion of the Olympics, there can be a considerable amount of crowd in the upcoming events but as per the latest reports, it has not yet been planned out. The Japanese media reported that there will be a series of discussions that will decide whether the event will have spectators or not.
If we go by the numbers, Japan had a fairly stable covid-19 outbreak but the officials need to take the more infectious variant–Delta Variant–ahead of planning the Paralympics spectator-friendly event. Tokyo along with five other regions are currently under a virus state of emergency which means that all the restaurants, bars, and pubs will be closed by 8 pm.
This time, the traditional relay done on roads will not be carried out in the same way, rather they will be held in towns and cities across Japan over the next week. During this time, the fame will be transferred from torch to torch across the country.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government official Koichi Osakabe said, “We had planned to hold the Paralympic torch relay in Tokyo with some 700 torchbearers. But because of the state of emergency, we decided not to do the relay on public roads.”
The official also stressed on the emergency measures that are already in place and emphasized that it will continue to be like that till the end of August. ‘Quasi-emergency’ measures are also in place in other regions where the number of covid cases is rising.